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If your business involves vehicles, inventory, or a mobile workforce, you may face at least one of these challenges:
- Unanticipated shipping delays. This can lead to a bad customer experience and lost business opportunities.
- Decreased efficiency of your mobile workforce. Employees are taking too long on one job, and showing up late to client locations.
- Increased vehicle maintenance costs. Your drivers may be speeding, causing vehicles to wear out faster.
If you're worried about these situations, there's a solution: GPS tracking software.
GPS tracking software gives you the real-time location of all your vehicles and inventory and provides vehicle tracking reports, allowing you to track assets and better estimate arrival times.
GPS tracking software can significantly improve the efficiency of your shipping operations and field staff, thereby resulting in a higher overall return on investment (ROI) for your business.
To help you find the right GPS tracking solution for your business, we'll cover the following topics:
- What is GPS tracking software?
- Common features of GPS tracking software
- What type of buyer are you?
- Benefits of GPS tracking software
- Market trends to understand
What is GPS tracking software?
GPS tracking software enables users to track the location of vehicles, objects, and a mobile workforce using smartphones, tablets, and other location monitoring devices. The software connects with GPS-based tracking devices, records location changes in real time, and provides users with a map of vehicles.
This helps users define and monitor policies related to vehicle drivers and field workers (as can be seen in the image below).
Defining vehicle and mobile workforce rules in High Point GPS software (Source)
Common features of GPS tracking software
The first step in selecting the right GPS tracking solution for your business is to understand the common features. This will help you shortlist products based on your specific business requirements.
According to our research, these are the common features of a GPS tracking solution:
|Live tracking||Extracts data from different sources such as local servers and software applications. Some products offer built-in connectors that let users extract data from different software such as CRM and HR.|
|Location history||Records the complete history of the movement of an item or staff person, which can help during audits or while tracing a missing item.|
|Fleet management||Tracks the real-time location of vehicles and drivers, which can help estimate arrival time.|
|Geofencing||Creates geographical boundaries around the area of business operation or product movement, and alerts you when an item or vehicle goes outside those boundaries.|
|Reporting||Compiles reports from data collected using GPS sensors, for vehicle mileage, fuel consumption, or driver activity, for example.|
|Vehicle operation rules||Defines rules for vehicle drivers and mobile workers, such as stoppage time and speed limits, and reports on any drivers that break the defined rules.|
What type of buyer are you?
After you've gone through the features list, the next step is to understand the different types of GPS software buyers. This will help you select products based on the line of business you're in.
We can classify buyers into two categories:
Fleet owners and operators. Businesses that own and operate vehicle fleets need a system to track the real-time location of their vehicles in order to estimate time of arrival. They also need to monitor driver activity and optimize routes for minimizing the time of delivery. For these reasons, fleet owners and operators should invest in GPS tracking software with strong live-tracking and reporting functionalities.
Businesses with a mobile workforce. Others buyers typically need GPS tracking to monitor their employees, especially mobile workers. They may also need geofencing capabilities in order to track the time each employee or remote worker spends at the office or an offsite location. These buyers should invest in a GPS tracking solution that includes geofencing and reporting functionalities, as these will help them efficiently track staff movement.
Benefits of GPS tracking software
The next step is to understand the benefits of GPS tracking software. This knowledge will help you understand the usefulness of this software in your business, thereby making it easier to persuade business stakeholders to invest in the software purchase.
According to our research, the following are the key benefits of using a GPS tracking system:
Route optimization. Tracking reports can help you identify routes that reduce travel time and increase fuel savings. For instance, you can experiment with two different routes, compare time and fuel spent on each, and identify the one that results in better ROI.
Vehicle safety. Since the software lets you track the real-time location of your vehicles, you'll get alerts if your vehicle moves outside the designated route. In the instances of theft, you can immediately notify the police about the whereabouts of the vehicle.
Better ETA estimates. With the real-time knowledge of vehicle location, you can inform customers in advance about any unexpected delays. Also, since you can track the time a shipment requires to reach the destination in the reporting module, you can provide better estimates of arrival times of vehicles and orders.
Market trends to understand
The final step is to understand the recent technological developments in this market so you can proactively select vendors that will incorporate these into their product, and therefore provide you with an early-adoption advantage.
According to our research, the biggest trend currently disrupting the GPS tracking software market is:
Fuel-theft prevention will be an integral part of GPS tracking software. Fuel theft is one of the biggest challenges facing shipping operations. A fuel-theft prevention system helps you minimize instances of fuel theft. The software analyzes fuel levels and alerts users of unusual fuel consumption patterns. With vendors such as ERM and Cyrrup making developments in this area, we can expect it to become a core GPS tracking software functionality by 2022.